The Gulf: Low Profile, High Alert

Israel watches, waits and braces for battle, knowing that its involvement could turn a crisis into an anti-Zionist crusade

For the second time in a decade, the Middle East is on the verge of a war without Israel at the epicenter. Not yet, anyway. As Iraq and the U.S.-led forces massed against it continue to stare each other down, the Israelis have their own worst-case scenario: cornered and desperate, Saddam Hussein launches dozens of missiles at Israel, followed by jet fighters bristling with chemical bombs. Some penetrate Israel's defenses and rain death on Tel Aviv and Haifa. ^ Saddam is hailed -- albeit posthumously -- as a hero of the Arab masses.

Farfetched? Not according to Israeli intelligence, which considers...

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